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At least 10 wounded in ‘targeted’ Florida drive-by shooting

‘I’ve been here 34 years, and I have never worked an event where this many people were shot at one time’

Shweta Sharma
Tuesday 31 January 2023 09:31 GMT
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Ten people were injured, two critically, in a drive-by shooting in Lakeland, Florida, in what is believed to be a “targeted attack”, police said.

Eight victims suffered non-life-threatening wounds, Lakeland police chief Sam Taylor said at a news conference.

On Monday afternoon, a dark-blue, four-door Nissan sedan rolled past a spot where a crowd of people were gathered along a residential street, Chief Taylor said.

“The vehicle slowed, did not stop, and the four windows went down. It appeared to be occupied by four shooters in the vehicle,” he said.

“They started firing from all four windows of the vehicle and shooting males on both sides.”

The four people who opened fire remain at large.

“I’ve been here 34 years, and I can tell you I have never worked an event where this many people were shot at one time, ever,” Mr Taylor said.

The officers were searching for the vehicles and shooters on Monday night and they believe it the shooting was a “targeted attack”, he said.

Police found a “quantity” of marijuana at the scene which suggests that “there was a narcotic sales or sales of marijuana going on at the time,” he said.

“Whether that is significant or related to this is unknown.”

Lakeland police said they are offering a reward of upto $5,000 in partnership with Heartland Crime Stoppers Florida, a portal that offers citizens anonymous tips on crimes and get cash rewards.

All the victims of the shooting were adult males between the ages of 20 and 35.

Chief Taylor said the area has been known as a “challenged” neighbourhood and because of that, police had focused a lot of attention on the area in recent years.

The incident comes as Americans are shocked following the brutal beating and killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black man. The case has triggered protests in Memphis in a chilling reminder of the arrest and killing of George Floyd in 2020.

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